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Hudson County law enforcement icon Joseph M. Pelliccio. Photo courtesy of the North Bergen Police Department.

Joseph Pelliccio, top Hudson law enforcement officer, dies at 91

Served as aide to Jersey City Mayor Paul Jordan in 1970s

By David Wildstein, February 20 2020 10:51 am

Joseph M. Pelliccio, a prominent law enforcement official in Hudson County who served as an aide to Jersey City mayor Paul Jordan in the 1970s, died on February 18.  He was 91.

Pelliccio began his career as a Jersey City police officer in the mid-1950s.  He later served as an aide to Jordan, a former who toppled the Hudson County political machine in 1971.

After Jordan left office, Pelliccio returned to his hometown of Bayonne to become the city’s public safety director.

He was the assistant criminal division manager for the Essex County Court System from 1990 to 1992 and the chief of staff to Carmen Messano, the Hudson County prosecutor in 1992.

When Bret Schundler won a 1992 special election for mayor of Jersey City, Pelliccio returned as the new police director.

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Pelliccio coordinated local law enforcement after bomb-making materials were found at a storage facility in Jersey City.

He served as Hudson County Undersheriff under Edward Webster.

Pelliccio was appointed to head the West New York Police Department in 1997 after Mayor Albio Sires asked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office to take control of the embattled department.

A few months later, federal prosecutors indicted the former police chief and eight current or former police officers on charges of accepting six-figure bribes for protecting illegal gambling and prostitution rings.

Pelliccio served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, where he saw combat action aboard the USS Iowa, and in Korea, where he served on the battleship USS New Jersey.

He is survived by his three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on Thursday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at the Weatherhead Young Funeral Home in Brick. A Funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 Am on Friday at the Church of the Visitation in Brick.

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